When a zone is created on Solaris 11, the set of repos to use is copied from the global zone. If you're using network-based repositories this is normally not a problem. There could still be an issue if you use "localhost" in your repo URLs, or the non-global zone does not have access to the network repos that the global zone does.
With filesystem-based repositories, however, the non-global zone almost certainly doesn't have access to the appropriate directories by default.
root@global# pkg publisher
PUBLISHER TYPE STATUS URI
solaris (preferred) origin online http://localhost/
boyd origin online file:/export/repo/boyd/
root@global# zoneadm -z cal install
A ZFS file system has been created for this zone.
Publisher: Using solaris (http://localhost/ ).
Publisher: Using boyd (file:/export/repo/boyd/).
root@cal:~# pkg refresh
pkg: 0/2 catalogs successfully updated:
Unable to contact valid package repository
Encountered the following error(s):
Unable to contact any configured publishers.
This is likely a network configuration problem.
2: file protocol error: code: 22 reason: The path '/export/repo/boyd' does not contain a valid package repository.
Repository URL: 'file:/export/repo/boyd'.
One way to deal with this is to loopback mount (read-only) the repo directory into the zone:
root@global# zonecfg -z cal
zonecfg:cal> add fs
zonecfg:cal:fs> set special=/export/repo/boyd
zonecfg:cal:fs> set dir=/export/repo/boyd
zonecfg:cal:fs> set type=lofs
zonecfg:cal:fs> add options ro
Now the zone can access the repo as it should.